A Week in the Life of an Engineer!
Chicago area students had the opportunity to try their hand at being an engineer for one week. They were presented with a dilemma and given a limited amount of time to solve the problem and present a solution to their peers. Sound familiar? Of course as with any summer camp we had our fair share of fun too!
Since 2000, ASM International Foundation has sponsored a program called Materials Camp® for high school students who are interested in pursuing engineering as a profession. This free program has attracted many outstanding students and has continued to grow every year. The ASM Materials Camp is now operating in over 50 locations worldwide.
In 2003, the first local Materials Camp was held in the Chicago area. By utilizing a forensic investigation of failed components as a vehicle to gain hands-on experience, the students are introduced to Materials Science and Engineering. They are given the opportunity to use state-of-the-art equipment and techniques such as scanning electron microscopy, mechanical testing, finite element analysis, metallography, fractography, and image analysis.
This year students were investigating a bronze impeller, mounting bracket and fractured bolts as well as polymer foam properties. The Hooke College of Applied Sciences hosted the program introduction and closing ceremonies. Throughout the week, students worked at one of several local laboratories to analyze their components including Exova, Buehler and IIT.
In order to provide a broader view of the materials field, the students participate in mini-labs on the first day. They heat treated steel, poured a tin casting into a hand packed sand mold, witnessed the effects of liquid nitrogen and manufactured a small concrete canoe. The canoes were put to the test during a competition at Saturday’s presentations. Industrial applications and research opportunities for materials were shown to the students on Thursday as they toured A. Finkl & Sons Co. and Hooke College of Applied Sciences. The students were surprised by the importance of materials engineering and science in their everyday lives.
Local students participating included:
Adlai Stevenson High School: Steven Wagner
Carl Schurz High School: David Gutierrez, Gustavo Amador, Arnold Flores
Hinsdale South: Lia Benes
Lane Tech College Prep: Jacqueline Hardin
New Trier High School: Tyra Yam
Oak Park and River Forest High School: Collin Wade
Pritzker College Prep: Yaneli Arizmendl, Neslie Borges, Abigail Carvajal, Veronica Lezama, Amanda Quiones
Vernon Hills High School: Rahil Kaka, Ron Chakrabarty
Waubonsie Valley High School: Deeptangshu Chatterjee
An endeavor of this magnitude requires the time, talents and efforts of countless individuals and organizations, too many to list here. Any effort to acknowledge some will inevitably omit others who are very important and key to our success. If we somehow missed you, please know it was unintentional, and your volunteer efforts are very important to us.
A. Finkl & Sons
Foundry Education Foundation
Hooke College of Applied Sciences
Northern Illinois University
Thermal Processing Technology Center at IIT
TC Industries, Inc.
More information about our local ASM Materials Camp is available online at
ASM Materials Camp 2011 Report